Oddly enough, I’m feeling pretty calm about departing on our adventure, although I am very excited.
In particular, I am looking forward to escaping the consistently torrential winter in Wellington to enjoy some fun under the French sun. The prospect of a good holiday is very exciting indeed.
Now that my research has been completed, I have a formed vision of what I would like my personal project to look like: the basis of my project will be looking at how the soldiers conscripted from the Austro-Hungarian army felt going into the war, how they felt during the war, and how they are viewed today, especially in Allied countries such as France and New Zealand.
I have discovered through my research that the Austro-Hungarian army alone was made up of 15 different ethnicities, with the predominant ethnicity being German, followed by Hungarian. Additionally, because soldiers were recruited from all across the Empire, there were 15 different languages spoken in the army. If you ask me, it was a miracle they could tell the difference between left and right.
On a more personal level, I will be relating my research into how the soldiers felt going into and fighting in the wars to supplement my knowledge of my great-grandfather, a man of gentle sensibility who was suddenly thrust into the battlefield of guns and politics.
When we get to France, I will be looking to find out the personal stories of Austro-Hungarian soldiers, particularly Hungarian ones, how they were affected by the war, and how people in France view the soldiers that fought for the Central Powers.Until then, I’ll be doing my research…